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« Father Tolton in the LA Times | Main | N.T. Wright on the N.T. »

Friday, January 05, 2007

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Arieh

How sad. Just to look at the Easter Vigil 2006 makes me so glad that I chose to enter the Church at Holy Rosary parish in Portland, OR where Tradition still means something.

Trubador

A certain Cardinal from the west coast will be none too pleased with the cover. I wonder if he'll go after Moyra Doorly the way he went after Mother Angelica. (hehh!)

Raving Thomist

Carl,

You should also give a plug to Tom Wolfe's From Bahaus to Our House.

Rich Leonardi

The problem of course, is that while the wave of smash-and-dash renovation may have abated, the large suburban mega-churches where the bulk of Catholics worship are indeed little more than gymnasiums, and you have every reason to question the "sincerity and orthodoxy" of the folks who build them. Eucharistic chapels are placed in side hallways inaccessible from the church/worship space, altars are placed "in the round" to maximize their entertainment value, and confessonals ... er, reconciliation rooms are open from 3 to 3:45 on Saturdays (or by appointment.) In short, the design comes with an agenda.

Rich Leonardi

renovations and confessionals, above.

Matthew Cauthorn

This is almost to much to continue to bear this kind of nonsense. Here is to praying for a reconciliation of the Pius the x
I am sick of all this madness.

JMC

The article states that this church was built on the site of an old stable. The darn thing actually LOOKS like a stable, to my eye, the kind where the grooms live in quarters above. I certainly never would have recognized that as a church. Rather like the "cathedral" in LA that looks more like a factory.

fr richard

"...uplifting and spiritual without sacrificing a sense of community."

As though these two elements are somehow at odds with each other, so compromises had to be made.

In my opinion, neither objective was achieved, probably because they they were seen as opposites.

Without any images of the Mother of God, the Saints, or even Christ (apart from the "Resurrected" Christ) apparently the only community that was considered was the flesh and blood that walked in the doors, not the "Community" of the Church, both in heaven as well as on earth, which is mystically united in worship at every Mass.

kate

As I was browsing the photos of Easter Vigil 2005 of Church of the Resurrection, I came across one of the procession and initially mistook the chandelier (I assume it's a chandelier) for a basketball net. I wonder if the architect suggested that the 'worship space' could do double duty as a gymnasium.
Very sad, though one can at least give thanks for the baptisms that are obviously taking place.

Dicitencello

Please shoot me if I ever start attending a church that looks like MY OFFICE BUILDING. I wonder if the confessionals are really cubicles.

I can't take it anymore... why don't they just become liberal Protestants and get it over with? At least that would be honest.

Arnold

I pray for the day when parish priests and laymen stop being enthralled by this boxy, ugly 1960's minimalist architecture or the incompetent architects and liturgical advisors who push the style on them. There is hope however, visible here and there. One example of a new suburban parish I like is St. Francis in West Des Moines, Iowa, done in a modern version of Italian romanesque. I saw another stunning example on the web page "Shrine of the Holy Whapping" run by some former ND grads (probably architecture students), an ugly boxy church in suburban Dallas, TX that was so radically changed for the better y u can't tell it is the same building . they added Spanish colonial style twin towers and a new facade as well as a totally revampd interior. It can be done!! BTW, does diocesan leadership have any veto power over building designs at the parish level?

latinae

Large undifferentiated spaces for undifferentiated Christians.

Arcadio Herrera

I am a Mexican catholic, educated by the Company. We were taught that having an excellent religious, humanitarian and academic education in our Country was more a responsibility than pride. We have to remember that Mexico is a poor country, with abismal class differences, I live like any well to do person in USA, Canada or Western Europe, but most Mexicans live in poverty.

Mexican churches from the XVI to the early XX century were elaborate and magnificent, but our people did not felt they belonged.

Since last century our churches are very simple, like the Church of the Resurection, they reflect our Country, but the spirituality resides there.

I think that a church is where we communicate with our Father, and that is what counts

Cristina A. Montes

"Since last century our churches are very simple, like the Church of the Resurection, they reflect our Country, but the spirituality resides there.

I think that a church is where we communicate with our Father, and that is what counts."

I come from the Philippines, a country very similar to Mexico: a Catholic country where majority of the people are not exactly wealthy. I therefore understand that some communities might feel more comfortable in less grandiose churches (I shudder at what I just wrote as it sounds elitist, but I'm sure readers get the point). In fact, grandiose churches might scandalize some people. THere are practical considerations such as the availability of funds and manpower to build and maintain grandiose churches and the different conditions in a tropical country.

This said, "simple" does not necessarily mean "tasteless" or "devoid of any sense of the sacred". I've seen many examples of churches that aren't exactly like the grand cathedrals of Europe, and yet still look like churches and evoke a spirit of prayer. Unfortunately, the pictures of modern churches in the blog post are not examples of those.

Brian John Schuettler

This said, "simple" does not necessarily mean "tasteless" or "devoid of any sense of the sacred".

Cristina is right on point. We must remember that there are tasteless and yet very expensive churches and cathedrals that have been built in this country e.g. Los Angeles and there are many local, small parish churches that are exquisitely beautiful and yet relatively inexpensive e.g. Saint Rose of Lima in Oxford N.J.
This isn't about elitism or class distinction, it is about having reverent and appropriately respectful worship space for the honor and the glory of God.

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